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Name: Phyllomedusa bicolor, aka “Giant Leaf Frog” or “Waxy-Monkey Tree Frog”. Phyllomedusa is derived from Greek, with Phyllo meaning leaf or foliage, and Medusa translating to Queen or Protector. Bicolor = two colors, referring to its two main colors: green dorsum and a belly that can vary from cream to brown.
Recommended Enclosure Size & Setup: Froglets can be kept in a 12x12x18 terrarium, while an 18x18x24 Exo Terra terrarium or something equivalent is appropriate for housing a few juveniles (~2 inches).
For groups of adults, they should be kept in appropriately-sized enclosures, and depending on quantities their habitat may need to be custom designed. Keep in mind that this species utilizes a lot of vertical space. Each adult that's added will need an additional 20 gallons of space. For example, a 36x18x36 enclosure could house 5 adult frogs.
This species can be kept on moist paper towel, but we would recommend a bioactive setup. Standard bio-parfait: clay ball drainage layer, substrate barrier, ABG Mix, layer of sphagnum moss, topped with leaf litter. Springtails and isopods are a great addition for a bioactive clean-up crew.
Regardless of substrate choice, a large but shallow bowl of clean water must be available for soaking.
Temperature (°F): Ambient temperatures should be 72-80 degrees by day (76 is ideal) and as low as 70 degrees by night. These frogs should be provided a basking spot of 85-90 degrees. Do not exceed 90 degrees as this may be lethal.
An infrared thermometer should be used to measure the basking zone, while a probe thermometer should be used to read ambient temperature. Our keepers are partial to a combo thermometer/hygrometer.
Humidity: 40-70% is acceptable, but they will thrive between 50-60%.Humidity levels lower than 40% put frogs at risk of death by desiccation, while higher than 70% for extended periods may invite respiratory infection. A digital hygrometer or combo temp/humidity gauge should be used.
This species requires ventilation. They are canopy dwellers and stagnant air is to be avoided.
Size: Froglets are roughly 3/4 inch out of the water. At the time of sale, they’ll measure anywhere from about 1-1.5 inches.
Adult Phyllomedusa bicolor range from 3.5-6 inches. Females are generally larger than males.
Age: There is limited information on lifespans of Waxy-Monkey Tree Frogs. In captivity, up to ten years seems to be the consensus.
There is no data on maximum lifespan in the wild.
Feeding: This species can eat a variety of insects. Some great options are crickets, silkworms, hornworms, or dubia roaches.
All food should be dusted with calcium supplements. Our froglets are fed 3 times per week, and have been raised on gutloaded and dusted 1/4 inch crickets.
With time and effort these frogs can be tong-trained or fed by hand.
Sexing: These frogs take longer than other phyllomedusine frogs to mature enough to differentiate between sexes; it can be from 12 to 18 months. Male frogs will call during significant storms and pressure shifts. Females will be more robust and larger on average than males. Nuptial pads are present in males during breeding season.
Color/Pattern: Belly color can range from a yellowish cream color to an earthy brown. The number of spots along the torso and limbs varies from individual to individual. There are no known varieties in the industry.
Josh's Frogs does not recommend, support, or endorse line breeding as we believe this leads to weaker captive animals, and nature has done a wonderful job of creating an amazing variation in color and pattern of frogs already.
Social Behavior: P. bicolor does fine in groups, though males should not cohabitate as they will spar for territory and mates. The only exception to this is when attempting to provoke breeding behavior, but the keeper must be on the lookout for injuries.
They are calm frogs, and easy to handle (though handling should always be limited to reduce stress). These frogs are nocturnal ambush predators.
Breeding: These frogs require cycling and a lot of space in order to breed. They fold their eggs in large leaves over water and incubation usually takes up to a week.
Josh's Frogs recommends purchasing multiple frogs if you are interested in breeding them – this greatly increases the chances of getting a pair.
Natural Range: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
History in the Hobby: These frogs have traditionally been available as wild caught adults and very few breeders have been successful with breeding them in captivity. Josh’s Frogs is working on perfecting a strategy so that captive bred frogs can be available to reduce the collection of wild frogs in the future.
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